1. Pakistan’s Parliament – World’s first to run entirely on solar power
(i) In a recent development, Pakistan’s parliament became the first in the world to run entirely on Solar power.
(ii) Pakistan’s solar power venture is supported by its close ally China with a hefty funding of $55 million.
(iii) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a ceremony switched on solar-powered building of the parliament in capital, Islamabad. In a speech that followed the ceremony, PM Shariff said, “This the first time since independence (1947) that parliament has become self-sufficient in electricity through solar power. Other institutions in private and public sector need to follow it…This is another example of Pak-China friendship.”
(iv) As per reports the solar panels can generate 80MW power however 62 MW will be sufficient for parliament while the rest 18 MW will be given to national grid.
2. Mortaza named UNDP’s national goodwill ambassador for youth
(i) In a recent development, Bangladesh’s cricketer Mashrafe Mortaza was appointed as the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) “national goodwill ambassador for youth”.
(ii) The UN agency is expected to hold an official signing ceremony and make formal announcement to that effect on February 25.
(iii) Mortaza, is currently the captain of Bangladesh’s One-Day International and Twenty-20 international teams.
3. Standard Chartered posts first loss in global operations in 26 years
(i) The British lender Standard Chartered recorded its first loss in global operation in 26 years.The reported loss is worth $ 1.3 billion or Rs. 9,781 crore due to its loans to India.
(ii) As per reports, Standard Chartered has its loans predominantly in Asia, reported a pre-tax loss of $1.5 billion (Rs 10,288 crore) for 2015, down from a profit of $4.2 billion (Rs 28,800 crore) last year.
(iii) The bank primarily lends large corporate groups with commodities (like Essar) reported a $981-million (Rs 6,728-crore) loss from its operations in India, down from a profit of $561 million in 2014.
(iv) This is the biggest ever loss posted by a bank in India.
4. Yes Bank receives inaugural Green Bond Award in UK
(i) In a recent development, Indian private lender Yes Bank received the inaugural Green Bond Award in UK.
(ii) The inaugural Green Bond Pioneer Award was organised by Climate Bonds Initiative in early February 2016 with the view to recognise the, ‘Pioneers in Emerging Markets-India.’
(iii) Yes Bank received the award for its pioneering efforts in the Green Bonds market including the highly successful issuance of India’s first ever Green Infrastructure Bonds.
(iv) The Climate Bond initiative is an international investor focused not for profit initiative which is involved in mobilising the USD 100-trillion bond market for climate change solutions.
5. GVK Biosciences bags Global CSR excellence & Leadership Award
(i) In a recent development, GVK Biosciences bagged the Global CSR excellence & Leadership Award in the category of Best Environment Friendly Project for its, ‘Go Green, Grow Green’ plantation drive.
(ii) The Global CSR Awards are constituted by the World CSR congress annually and are presented to companies on the World CSR Day to recognise those companies which believe in the value of sustainable corporate social responsibility.
(iii) The award was conferred on GVK Bio in recognition of its mega plantation drive conducted injury 2015.
6. First Knowledge Economy Zone is to come up in Amravati, AP
(i) As per recent development, the Andhra Pradesh government and the Confederation of India Industry (CII) announced they are working jointly to establish the first Knowledge Economy Zone (KEZ) with the view to ensure rapid economic growth in the state.
(ii) The KEZ is to come up in the new capital city of the state, Amravati. In a statement the Chief Minister of the state, Chandrababu Naidu informed, “The government proposes to take the help of World Economic Forum (WEF) and Harvard University in grounding the KEZ.”
(iii) The KEZ is expected to begin its operation by June 2016.
7. Edu-Grid project announced in Andhra Pradesh
(i) Recently, during the two day collectors conference in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, the state officials announced the implementation of Edu-Grid project of the Department of Information Technology and Communication (IT&C) department which would unify all the state universities.
(ii) This project would enable all the students to access data pertaining to their attendance, grades and assignments among others through the University website.
8. K N Vyas appointed new BARC chief
(i) K N Vyas a distinguished scientist was recently appointed as the Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), India’s multi-disciplinary nuclear research centre.
(ii) Vyas appointment has been approved for a period of three years and he succeeds Shekar Basu. Vyas, has made notable contributions in the areas of design and development of a unique fuel and is a recipient of the Science and Technical Excellence awards.
9. Ather Energy launches India’s first electric scooter S340
(i) Recently Ather Energy a Bengaluru based hardware start up launched India’s first electric scooter S340.
(ii) The energy company is backed by Flipkart founders and Tiger Global in its efforts. The scooters will be available in the market by the end of 2016 and orders for the product can be placed online.
(iii) The scooter covers the distance of 60 kilometres in one single charge and the company claims that its Lithium Ion battery pack is IP67 rated and offers an un-compromised ride for 50,000 km.
10. Australia replaces India as world No. 1 in ICC Test rankings
(i) Recently, Australia replaced India in the World’s test ranking after a 2-0 victory in a test series over New Zealand. Captain Steven Smith and Joe Burns hit fifties on the final day as Australia achieved the target of 201set by New Zealand, losing just 3 wickets in their second innings.
(ii) Joe Burns was selected as man of the match for his 170 and 65 runs from both innings.s.
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